What can I do if my landlord new about roaches in the apartment that I rented apartment and said that they were all dead but I have seen roaches since I moved in?

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What can I do if my landlord new about roaches in the apartment that I rented apartment and said that they were all dead but I have seen roaches since I moved in?

I have tried spray and roach traps but they are not working. I spoke to the landlord about getting an exterminator. The landlord said one would come and spray outside but they never came. I asked about one to spray inside and said the landlord said that they would have to discuss it with the exterminator.

Asked on May 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can withhold your rent if your landlord will not address or remediate a condition affecting habitability (the ability to live in safe, hygienic, etc. space) after written notice of the problem (so if you have not yet provided written notice, do so--send it some way you can prove delivery). Take the rent money and put it somewhere *safe* and have it available the day of trial, assuming your landlord tries to evict you for nonpayment of rent: you have to have the withheld rent with you, and be able to deposit it with the court if so ordered, or pay it to the landlord that day if the court finds against you. What will happen is that if you start withholding rent, your landlord will presumably try to evict for the failure to pay it; you will raise as a defense to eviction the landlord's violation of the "implied warranty of habitability," or the obligation to provide habitable space, as grounds for nonpayment. The court may order the extermination done, in which case you would typically then have to pay the rent after the issue is taken care of (and in the meantime, may have to deposit--basically escow--the rent in court); or the court could conclude that the condition/issue was not so bad as to justify withholding rent, in which case you will need to be able to pay it to the landlord as soon as the court determines that.


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